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Not quite where you'd hope to be? Don't give up just yet! Learn how to reposition yourself for the most incredible rebound yet! Finish this year strong in a few simple moves.

R-E-B-O-U-N-D, REBOUND! Anyone who’s ever been to a youth basketball game, I would wager, just chanted that in their heads while reading. It’s a catchy cheer that has stuck with me for many years. I used to play basketball when I was younger and am still fascinated by the sport. One of the drills that we practiced quite a bit was around rebounding. It is such an important piece of the game. My coaches would lose their minds when we were not positioned to rebound the ball, and for good reason!

For those unfamiliar with this, it's whenever a player misses a shot, and you catch the ball that bounces off the backboard. That ball is still in play! If you are under your own basket, you take a shot yourself. If you’re under the opponents' basket, you now have taken possession away from them. It takes positioning yourself correctly and tenacity. This is what I want to focus on today.

Around this time every year, people separate into two categories: those giving it their all to finish the year strong and those sulking in their seeming lack of achieving their goals. We are constantly reminded that there are only a certain number of days left in the year; whether it’s meant to be inspirational or a clever shopping sales strategy, it brings the time crunch front and center!

What category are you finding yourself in today? And please, wherever you are, it’s okay. This journey is your own! I want to share some insights I’ve gained that have helped me rebound when I was in my slump. Put them into practice today or save them for later.

Back to my analogy. Our team would dedicate a certain amount of time each practice to rebounding. It was a skill that had to be developed. There was a way to bend your knees and stand firmly, use your backside to “box out” your opponent, eyes constantly on the ball, and your hands above your head in preparation for grabbing the ball. You had to be aggressive within your stance because the opponent wanted that ball just as badly! Sometimes, the ball went in, and you moved on with the game. There wasn’t a need for a rebound, yet you always had to be ready.

Let’s review that posture for rebounding in basketball again. Your entire body is facing the basket (the goal). Your eyes are on the ball (the mechanism that achieves the goal). Your hands are lifted, ready to receive. Your legs are positioned firmly to take the next step. Most importantly, you are “boxing out” the opponent. Hold this picture in your mind, please.

Let’s also imagine the opposite. This would be someone in more of a sulking, defeated posture. Gripped by their mishap, their head would be down, eyes gazing low. Hands at their sides, dazed, unprepared for what may be coming their way. Unable to anticipate the next steps since their focus is on what went wrong earlier. The opponent quickly overtakes them.

Life will give you a lot of opportunities for rebounding! I can imagine the more you are reminded of the clock ticking away this year, the more thoughts have gravitated to missed shots. Finding that tenacity within yourself can be challenging but not impossible. Ask yourself how you want to finish this year. This month? This week? This day even?

We are not promised tomorrow. It’s arrogant of us to think that God owes us more time to do what He has created us to do. While His mercy and grace are always with us, we are responsible for our days. If you find yourself in that second posture of sulking, I encourage you to return to the game as quickly as possible. Here are a few steps to get you going:

1. Fix your eyes on Jesus. He is the goal. Without Him, you cannot advance in any area of life. (John 15:5) My guess is that you took your eyes off Him somewhere along the way.

2. Position your body firmly in prayer to discern the following action to take. (Colossians 2:6-7) The Lord will not leave you stranded; He has a game plan.

3. “Box out” the enemy! Take every thought captive to Christ. Line every thought to the Word of God. If it doesn’t align, call a foul! Get it out. (2 Corinthians 10:5)

4. Lift your hands in expectancy, praise, and gratitude. Be prepared to receive what God has for you today. It may not be what you originally planned, but it will be precisely what you need. (Ephesians 3:20)

5. Rebound! Proverbs 24:16: “Though a righteous man falls seven times and rises again…” If you have breath, you are still in the game. And all of heaven is cheering you on!!

Wherever you are in these months wrapping up this year, know you are not alone! You have a God who is an ever-present help in times of need. (Psalm 46:1). Lean into Him to lead you in your next steps as you continue playing this game of life. Spoiler alert: you win! 😊

If you need support in any area of your journey, sign up for a complimentary discovery session through the link below or email I’d love to champion your journey as you Discover who you were created to be, Believe His truth, and be Empowered to fulfill your God-given purpose.

photo image: Joaquin Ponce

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